PSV Eindhoven head to Greece on Thursday for the first-leg of their Europa League last 32 clash with Olympiacos. The kick-off is at 6pm.

It has been a tough few weeks for PSV Eindhoven boss Roger Schmidt, who has faced criticism from the media and former PSV stars after the club’s poor form.

In the past week, PSV have exited the cup after a 2-1 loss to Ajax and then drew 2-2 at ADO Den Haag to fall six points behind in the title race.

The Europa League offers Schmidt a chance to calm the criticism with the competition possibly the club’s last chance of a trophy. The club reached the last 32 after finishing top of a group ahead of Granada and PAOK fc.

Opponents Olympiacos dropped into the Europa League after finishing third in their Champions League group ahead of Marseille. The club lost five out of six of their group games, but sneaked into the Europa League with a better goal difference.

Coached by Pedro Martins, Olympiacos are 14 points clear at the top of the Greek league, but they lost 2-1 at Panathinaikos this weekend.

Team News

PSV have been boosted by the return of Mario Gotze, who makes the trip to Greece. Cody Gakpo is not yet fit and will miss the game, along with Mohamed Ihattaren who is sick.

Possible PSV line-up: Mvogo, Dumfries, Max, Teze, Boscagli, Sangare, Rosario, Thomas, Mauro, Zahavi, Malen

PSV will come up against a familiar face with Bruma on loan at Olympiacos from the Eindhoven side. Former Willem II winger Marious Vrousai could also feature.

Possible Olympiacos line-up: Sa, Androutsos, Holebas, Semedo, Sokratis, Camara, Bouchalakis, Mvilla, Bruma, Vrousai, El Arabi

Odds

Olympiacos 11/10 Draw 5/2 PSV 5/2

Can PSV come away from Greece with a victory?

PSV have been poor for weeks and the pressure is starting to increase on Schmidt, whose choices and tactics are under scrutiny.

PSV have a great chance of progressing in the competition though if they can get a good result in Greece. PSV have to learn from their 4-1 loss to PAOK earlier in the competition by keeping it tight at the back in order to prevent the Greek side from getting joy on the counter.

The Dutch side will also be relying on the goals of Donyell Malen, who has been exceptional this season and has seven goals in Europe so far.

A score draw in Greece would be a very good result for PSV to take back to the Philips Stadion.

Listen to our podcast previewing the game here.




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